Nowadays the Internet is teeming with various social networking websites. There is hardly a person who hasn’t heard about Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or other popular social media sites. The reason behind such sites’ popularity is simple. People have always wanted to feel connected and socially recognized, and modern interactive technologies make it possible. All you need to do is to fire up your favorite app and dive into the world of engagement, likes, images, and communication. If you’re also eager to become an owner of a social media platform, go on reading our article.
Why is Creating a Social Network Website Worth Giving a Shot?
The vast majority of people aiming to create a social network platform hope that their product will soon become a profitable venture that won’t be inferior to Instagram or Facebook in terms of popularity. Still, there are also those who want to practice their programming skills or learn to code. This category of people often creates simple, not to say primitive, social media apps for fun rather than for commercial purposes. There are also enthusiasts seeking to create an app targeting a specific, maybe, underserved niche or connect people working in some narrowly specific areas or sharing common interests, opinions, characteristics, etc. No matter what the reason behind your intention to create a social media website is, rest assured that this endeavor is worth the time and effort spent. Social media are very engaging and versatile. They facilitate communication, knowledge and opinion exchange, help establish liaisons and build rapport. If you’re going to use social networking software to create an online community, chances are you won’t come up with the next Facebook. However, with some effort, you’ll manage to create a social network bringing together like-minded people.
What Will You Need to Build a Social Network?
Usually, when some worthwhile idea occurs to you, you grab a piece of paper and try to visualize it. In other words, you do what web developers call a simple mainframe, which is technically some drawing or sketching. At this point, you may find out that your own skills or knowledge merely won’t suffice to bring your app idea to fruition. Should it be the case, be sure to consider the following:
- Designer Team. Bring your newly formed concept to a design team so that your raw idea transforms into a nice and full-fledged venture. And from that designer team you can create what web developers refer to as a prototype. The prototype isn’t an actual app or a social media site. It’s just some images, animation, interaction, or transition from one screen to another one.
- Frontend development. Once you’re done with this part, you’ll likely need to call on the help of front-end developers, who can make it possible for you users to see and interact with your social media website.
- Backend development. You’ll also need someone who will arrange, manage, and keep an eye on the behind-the-scenes activities. Backend developers will create the code that will go a long way in communicating the database information to a particular browser.
How to Create a Social Network?
Whenever you have an app or social network idea, you should be ready to go through all the development stages and face the challenges that may await every startupper. Below are the most important steps you may want to take to ensure your website is a success.
1. Do Some Market Research
If you fail to properly research the niche you’re looking to occupy, chances that your social network will succeed will be slim to none. Test the viability of your idea by taking a look at your immediate rivals and checking how your product can stack up to the competition. You also need to be sure that what you’re doing will resonate with other people. In other words, you need to know your audience and be able to cater to their needs and expectations.
2. Create a Rough Sketch of Your Site
Prior to starting and bringing your social media platform to perfection, you may want to create a mockup of your website layout.
As you may see, the rough sketch doesn’t include:
- Fine-grained UI elements
- Exact positioning of UI elements
- Complex color schemes and effects
Thus, your mockup is all about functionality, not aesthetics. Make sure to describe the flow and interactions of your platform. It’s also a good idea to create a text document explaining how your platform works.
3. Create a Social Media Website Graphic Design
Now that you’ve created a mockup of your site, it’s about time you started working on its graphic design. Your site’s design includes pixel-perfect visual details, graphic effects, image assets, and sometimes even animations and motion design. To do it, you can take advantage of the graphic design template, either free or paid. Such templates will spare you the bother of creating the graphics from scratch. Among the most popular are Phoenix, Do, Stitch, TETHR, Start UI Kit, iOS iPhone GUI, and others. But if you want your platform to look truly unique and top-notch, you will need to call on a professional designer’s help.
4. Create a Memorable Landing Page
If you want to connect with your potential users early on, take care to create a nice landing page for your website. Once again, you may rely on dedicated landing page builders to make your own landing page or hire professionals.
Make sure your landing page includes a clear headline at the top of the page, explainer video, a call to action like “sign up”, a list of your site’s benefits and features, and the “About Us” section.
5. Create Your Own Social Network
With the groundwork for your social media platform has been laid, building your site becomes much easier. Now you can get down to making your platform.
At first, you need to build the front-end of your product, which involves creating a UI, setting up the navigation, and incorporating other features and interactions you need to take place on your platform.
The back-end of your site mostly stores data. For the time being, Firebase and Parse Server remain the most popular back-ends you may also want to use when it comes to server-side development.
6. Market and Allow Room for Improvement
Congratulations on creating your own platform! All that remains is to market it to the right people and make sure to improve your product as you go along. For this reason, you want to use your site’s analytics and surveys to gather quantitative and qualitative data, respectively, and incorporate necessary improvements based on that data. It’s also highly beneficial for the prosperity of your site to communicate with your users on a regular basis. All this will help you ensure the success of your product.
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